Jaguar Land Rover Wants to Reduce Traffic Using Self-parking Cars
Tata Motor's Jaguar Land Rover has been testing its autonomous prototypes in public locations around the UK. In Milton Keynes, the automaker unleashed a modified Range Rover Sport with SAE-L4 driverless capabilities.
The highlight of the event was the demonstration of Collaborative Parking, which enables Jaguar Land Rover vehicles to locate parking spaces autonomously. In addition to making trips more convenient and less stressful, the luxury car manufacturer believes the new feature could help reduce traffic in busy, urban locations.
The self-parking feature is designed to be used at the start and end of one's journey. According to the automaker, its driverless system can safely park the vehicle, while the owner is going about his or her day. When it's time to go home (or to another location), the vehicle can be summoned autonomously.
In order to make the feature more seamless, the company intends to leverage data from city sensors installed at various parking bays, sidewalks and public areas. Moreover, the driverless platform will be able to download updated maps in real-time from roadside beacons and hubs dedicated to monitoring local parking lots.
By comparison, human drivers are forced to drive around in circles, when looking for vacant parking spaces. The painstakingly slow and meticulous process frequently contributes to road congestion.
"It's not certain if or when this technology might go into full-fledged use; it's part of an ongoing partnership with the UK Autodrive project. However, it would be relatively easy to implement the autonomous parking given that it's only tackling a small portion of the driving experience," said Jon Figas from Engadget.
Although impressive, this cutting-edge capability is not new. Audi unveiled a similar, self-parking feature in 2013. During the demonstration, the auto manufacturer's prototype was able to scan several floor spaces before parking on its own.
Self-driving Developments and Partnerships
Jaguar Land Rover is working with a handful of businesses and organizations to meet its self-driving milestones in a timely and safe manner. During the public self-parking trial, the establishment collaborated with UK Autodrive. The consortium includes several participants, including Ford and the University of Cambridge.
The automaker also took the opportunity to showcase two new V2X features during the demonstration – Emergency Vehicle Warning and Electronic Emergency Brake Light. Emergency Vehicle Warning notifies the driver about the presence of official ‘blue-light' vehicles, such as law enforcement groups, ambulances, military units and government-transport vehicles.
The second safety feature (Electronic Emergency Brake Light) warns drivers about rapid breaking maneuvers ahead, which is commonly associated with collisions or emergencies.
Outside of the UK, Jaguar Land Rover was recently tapped by Google's Waymo for a massive partnership deal, worth roughly $1.82 billion. The agreement includes the supply of 20,000 electrified I-Pace vehicles. Waymo plans to equip the units with self-driving systems.
"The I-Pace is a far sleeker offering than the Chrysler Pacifica, which until now has been Waymo's primary choice for equipping its autonomous driving technology for tests. It also represents the company's first foray into the electric vehicle space," cited Ryan Felton from Jalopnik.
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